Average Amount Of Sex For Couples In Their 20s

Americans in their 20s have sex about 80 times each year, although 25% of people through the age of 24 have not yet had sexual activity with a partner.
split screen image featuring a bar graph on the left depicting that 54.1% of men and 55.4% of women through the age of 24 report that they had sex in the past 30 days with an image of a young couple in their early 20s sitting closely together on a curb while laughing and cuddling
Updated:November 2023

On average, Americans in their 20s are having partnered sex about 80 times per year. [6]

Additionally, 25% of Gen Z adults through the age of 24 have not yet had sexual activity with a partner. [5]

Key Statistics To Know:

  • Americans in their 20s report having sex an average of 80 times each year. [6]
  • 54.1% of men aged 18 to 24 reported having vaginal sex in the previous 30 days, compared to 61.9% of men aged 25 to 29. [2]
  • 55.4% of women aged 18 to 24 reported having vaginal sex in the previous 30 days, compared to 62% of women aged 25 to 29. [2]
  • 59.7% of women aged 18 to 24 and 72.7% of women aged 25 to 34 reported having 1 sexual partner in the past year. [1]
  • 30% of men aged 18 to 24 and 58% of men aged 25 to 34 reported having 1 sexual partner in the past year. [1]
  • 25% of adults through the age of 24 reported that they have not yet had partnered sex. [5]

In this article, we’ll explore sex partner counts among those in their 20s, along with how frequently people in their 20s have sexual activity within a relationship and/or with casual partners.

How Often Do Individuals And Couples In Their 20s Have Sex?

bar graph depicting that among gen z adults through the age of 24, 54.1% of men and 55.4% of women report that they had vaginal sex in the past 30 days
  • Americans in their 20s report having sex an average of 80 times each year. [6]
  • A 2021 study found that 54.1% of men aged 18 to 24 had vaginal sex in the previous 30 days, compared to 61.9% of men aged 25 to 29. [2]
  • That same study found that 55.4% of women aged 18 to 24 had vaginal sex in the previous 30 days, compared to 62% of women aged 25 to 29. [2]
  • In 2021, 50.6% of men aged 18 to 24 reported having oral sex in the previous 30 days, compared to 58.7% of men aged 25 to 29. [2]
  • In 2021, 50.3% of women aged 18 to 24 reported having oral sex in the previous 30 days, compared to 54.5% of women aged 25 to 29. [2]
  • Among men and women aged 18 to 24, only 16.5% and 12.6% had engaged in anal sex in the previous 30 days, respectively. [2]
  • In comparison, 25.4% of men aged 25 to 29 and 14% of women aged 25 to 29 reported having anal sex in the past 30 days. [2]

On average, individuals in their earlier 20s have sex a bit less frequently than those in their later 20s — roughly 4-8% less often.

How Many Sex Partners Do People Have In Their 20s?

donut chart depicting that 25% of gen z adults through the age of 24 report that they have not yet had partnered sex with someone
  • 25% of Gen Z adults through the age of 24 report that they have not yet had partnered sex. [5]
  • One two-year study (from 2016 to 2018) found that 30.9% of men aged 18 to 24 and 14.1% of men aged 25 to 34 years old reported having no sexual activity in the past year. [1]
  • That same study found that about 19% of women aged 18 to 24 and 12.8% of women aged 25 to 34 reported having no sexual activity in the past year. [1]
  • Among women aged 18 to 24, 59.7% reported having 1 sexual partner in the past year, 7.7% reported having 2 sexual partners in the past year, and 12.5% reported having 3 or more sexual partners in the past year. [1]
  • Among women aged 25 to 34, 72.7% reported having 1 sexual partner in the past year, 7.3% reported having 2 sexual partners in the past year, and 7.3% reported having 3 or more sexual partners in the past year. [1]
  • Among men aged 18 to 24, 30% reported having 1 sexual partner in the past year, 14.7% reported having 2 sexual partners in the past year, and 23.2% reported having 3 or more sexual partners in the past year. [1]
  • Among men aged 25 to 34, 58% reported having 1 sexual partner in the past year, 11.6% reported having 2 sexual partners in the past year, and 16.8% reported having 3 or more sexual partners in the past year. [1]

While culturally we tend to imagine the “roaring 20s” of youth, statistically many aspects of sexual behavior have been on the decline among this population over the last couple of decades.

Increasing use of technology and social media, mental health issues, stress, living with parents, and later age at marriage (if marriage occurs at all) are several reasons behind the decline.

Non-penetrative sexual behavior has also become more common, as have diverse sexual identities, which may account for a portion of the reduced frequency of intercourse.

Sexuality Among 20-Somethings

illustrative graphic featuring five silhouettes of young people in different positions with one colored green to depict that one in five gen z adults (about 21%) identifies as lgbtq
  • A poll of more than 12,000 adults in the United States found that 20.8% of Gen Z adults (1 in 5) identify as LGBT, compared to 10.5% of Millennials. [3]
  • Among Gen Z adults, 75.7% identify as straight or heterosexual, compared to 82.5% of Millennials. [3]
  • Among those adults polled in 2021, 3.5% of Gen Z and 7.1% of Millennials chose not to respond when asked to identify their sexual orientation. [3]
  • Among Gen Z adults, 15% are bisexual, 2.5% are gay, 2% are lesbian, 2.1% are transgender, and 1.2% identify as other. [3]
  • One study found that among Generation Z respondents, 40.5% “always” use condoms, 22.7% use them “sometimes,” 17.7% “rarely” use them, and 19% “never” use them. Additionally, there was no “significant difference” compared to Millennials. [4]
  • Among men aged 18 to 24 in 2020, some of whom were sexually active in college, 69.4% had oral sex, 68.2% had vaginal sex, and 23.5% had anal sex at some point in their lifetime. [2]
  • Among women aged 18 to 24 in 2020, 68.6% had oral sex, 68.6% had vaginal sex, and 26.9% had anal sex at some point in their lifetime. [2]
  • Among adults who reported that they have not yet had partnered sex, 31% say they’ve engaged in sexting or cybersex. [5]

While Gen Z individuals may be having sexual intercourse less often, they are also more sexually open-minded in various ways — exploring sexual identity, sexting, oral sex, and anal sex.

A majority use condoms at least sometimes, though concerningly over 1/3 only use them rarely or never.

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